A Birmingham Classic Prepares for the Next 50 Years
Nabeel's Cafe & Market, an Alabama institution, is preparing itself for another 50 years serving authentic Mediterranean dishes and supplying the most unique international ingredients.
When new owner Ramsey Duck took over in 2017, his goal was a quiet transition and then to build off of the legacy of the founder and namesake, Nabeel Shunnarah, and the second generation owners Ava, John, and Anthony Krontiras. "I've lived in Homewood for almost 20 years and couldn't believe I had the opportunity to take over such a foundational piece of the neighborhood," Duck said. "Nabeel's is the kind of place that cannot go away in our current environment of bigger, newer, faster, and shinier. Every neighborhood needs those businesses that give you a sense of place and community."
For almost 50 years Nabeel's Cafe & Market has been that place. Started in the early 1970s by Nabeel Shunnarah, the sandwich shop and specialty grocery occupied the uppermost section of Nabeel's current space at 1706 Oxmoor Road. To this day, guests will share memories of playing Nabeel in a game of backgammon for their lunch (frequently the now famous, and often imitated, Camel Rider sandwich, one of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die) or entering in small, tightly controlled groups to buy candy after letting out of school at neighboring Our Lady of Sorrows.